Friday, January 15, 2016

REPOST Truly, Madly, Deeply/ now feat. Barchester Chronicles & Galaxy Quest

REPOSTED [from Nov. 2010] today in honor of Alan Rickman (died January 14, 2016). What a loss--I'd have imagined he'd age into one of the Grand Old Actors, like John Gielgud.
Rest in peace.

I am also adding, today, a clip of one of my favorite pieces of Alan Rickman's acting:
the final showdown between Obadiah Slope (Rickman) and the formidable Mrs. Proudie (the power behing the bishop, played by the wire-taut Geraldine McEwan: oh, what a match made in heaven of two fitting actors/characters!)-- in the BBC's 1982 version of Anthony Trollopes' Barchester Chronicles:

Oh, and while I'm at it, here's Alan Rickman––illustrating the truth of him saying, "I'm a quite serious actor who doesn't mind being ridiculously comic"––in a clip of one of my top-ten favorite movies, Galaxy Quest (1999), a spoof (and a tribute!) to Star Trek-style fandom.
Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) feels like a sell-out as he and the rest of the cast of the [made-up] TV show Galaxy Quest wait for star Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) at a fan convention.

ORIGINAL POST from 11/2010:

"If you were to put a big banner over the door of the theatre, it would read Come to Recognise and be Recognised."
--Juliet Stevenson: "The power of storytelling", the Guardian, 2009.

Speaking of Alan Rickman, Clowncar mentioned Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990, written and directed Anthony Minghella), which is one of my favorite movies, and one of the best I know at showing how grief feels--even catching the bits of humor that can attend wrenching loss.

The wonderful Juliet Stevenson--she should be in my favorite actresses posts--Minghella said he wrote the movie for her--plays Nina, a woman who can't let go of her partner, Jamie (Rickman), after his recent death. In response to her longing, his spirit turns up, and brings along his annoying dead friends (they're always cold and keep turning up the heat).

(The movie's in color, but I like this ^ b&w pic.)

In this scene (below), Nina throws the friends out, and the two lovers talk about their past (I love that "talking was the main component" of their first night together)... and her future. 

Jamie recites Pablo Neruda's poem "The Dead Woman" as a way of releasing her to choose life. 
(Poem starts at 3:35--I've posted the poem at the end of this post.)

One of the things that makes this movie feel real is the actors aren't prettified and perfected--Rickman's Spanish accent is awful, and neither actor can sing well--and so we may recognize ourselves.
Here they are, singing (rather poorly :) 
"Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore":

Stevenson on how poetry made her want to be an actress (from article linked at top):
"When I was about nine years old I picked up a difficult poem by W.H.Auden, and read it inside my head. And I found that I was full of a desire to read it aloud to people. It was a complicated love poem from – I know now – one man to another.
However much or little of it I was able to understand, whatever meaning I sensed within the words, I just felt very strongly, very powerfully, that I wanted to be the person who communicated that meaning to others. I could understand some of it just through the rhythm of the lines, through the sounds and shapes of its language, and I wanted to feel that language pass through me. I wanted to be the conduit for somebody else's experiences, filtered through me, and passed on to other people."
Stevenson and Neruda, looking surprisingly alike:



And here's Neruda's poem (in English and Spanish)

The Dead Woman

If suddenly you do not exist,
if suddenly you no longer live,
I shall live on.

I do not dare,
I do not dare to write it,
if you die.

I shall live on.

For where a man has no voice,
there, my voice.

Where blacks are beaten,
I cannot be dead.
When my brothers go to prison
I shall go with them.

When victory,
not my victory,
but the great victory comes,
even though I am mute I must speak;
I shall see it come even
though I am blind.

No, forgive me.
If you no longer live,
if you, beloved, my love,
if you have died,
all the leaves will fall in my breast,
it will rain on my soul night and day,
the snow will burn my heart,
I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow,
my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but
I shall stay alive,
because above all things
you wanted me indomitable,
and, my love, because you know that I am not only a man
but all mankind.
La Muerta

Si de pronto no existes,
si de pronto no vives,
yo seguiré viviendo.

No me atrevo,
no me atrevo a escribirlo,
si te mueres.

Yo seguiré viviendo.

Porque donde no tiene voz un hombre
allí, mi voz.

Donde los negros sean apaleados,
yo no puedo estar muerto.
Cuando entren en la cárcel mis hermanos
entraré yo con ellos.

Cuando la victoria,
no mi victoria,
sino la gran Victoria llegue,
aunque esté mudo debo hablar:
yo la veré llegar aunque esté ciego.

No, perdóname.
Si tú no vives,
si tú, querida, amor mío, si tú
te has muerto,
todas las hojas caerán en mi pecho,
lloverá sobre mi alma noche y día,
la nieve quemará mi corazón,
andaré con frío y fuego
y muerte y nieve,
mis pies querrán marchar hacia donde tú duermes, pero seguiré vivo,
porque tú me quisiste sobre
todas las cosas indomable,
y, amor, porque tú sabes que soy no sólo un hombre
sino todos los hombres.


ArtSparker said...

Interesting,I do recognize that desire to be a conduit - though I sometimes think of it as being a vessel.

Fresca said...

SPARKER: A vessel with a hole in the bottom is a conduit! : )
Anyway, you ARE a conduit--your blog life connects hundreds of people!

femminismo said...

Oh my gosh! What a poem from the dead. Pablo, Pablo, Pablo! Thank you for reminding me of this movie. I want to see it again.

Margaret said...

Just so you all know, the whole thing is uploaded to YT.
I haven't seen it; going to.

Fresca said...

Bless you, MARZ (and utube)!
I was just going to respond to FISMO saying how sad I was that it's not available on Netflix.
(I used to own a video copy of it.)

Emma J said...

This is pure delight. All of you - the comments, the discussion,the snips from this movie I've got to see, the poem, all these reasons to be glad to be alive - just one more bunch of things I'm thankful for.

Clowncar said...

hey! cool! we seem to have very similar tastes in movies. let me guess: you like Altman too. Kubrick, not so much.

someone told me that the movie Ghost was based on TMD. how depressing. such dreck from such glory.

Fresca said...

CLOWN: Well... gotta love Kubrick: he made "Dr. Strangelove"! (And I loved 2001 years ago--I'm waiting to see it again until it's showing on a big screen in the dark).

Altman's "Nashville" really shook me up when I was young---it was like a giant permission slip: YOU DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES BECAUSE ART DOESN"T HAVE ANY RULES (but if you're amazing, you can break the rules and still tell a good story).

"Gosford Park" is plain old pure joy.

Fresca said...

EMMA J: THank you back at you!

Zhoen said...

Truly, Madly, Deeply I've seen once, cried through more like. I don't think I could do it again, but there's no denying the power of it.

He had a small part in Smiley's People, nonetheless memorable.